Illinois Coyote Caution: A Guide to Keeping Your Pets Safe During Breeding Season
I'm about to tell you I live in the sticks...without telling you "I live in the sticks".
This weekend a local bar (several actually) will be hosting an annual Coyote Tournament, where two-man teams hunt and win prizes based on the weight of the Coyote(s) they bring in.
The timing couldn't be more perfect though. It's important to thin the herd, so to speak because from late February to early March, you need to be extra cautious when it comes to these beautiful predators.
During this time, male coyotes can become more aggressive and territorial, making it even more important to keep our dogs and outdoor cats safe. Although coyotes are often associated with rural and outlying areas, the sticks, they're also thriving in suburban areas.
"Spay or Neuter Your Pets"-Bob Barker
One tip to keep in mind is to spay or neuter your pets. Coyotes can be attracted to and even mate with (gasp) un-spayed or unneutered domestic dogs. This can be especially dangerous for un-spayed female dogs, who may attract male coyotes, and unneutered male dogs, who may be lured away by the scent of a female coyote.
Coyotes are Smart Hunters
Another thing to keep in mind is that coyotes are smart and learn daily routines, the little bastards. So, if you let your dog out at the same time every night, chances are a coyote knows your schedule and may be waiting for them. To keep your pet safe, try changing up your routine, keep your dog on a short leash, and always keep a close eye on them.
It's best to keep unattended cats and dogs indoors or in enclosed runs, especially at night, and to be mindful of outside lights and noise when going outside.
Don't Feed the Coyotes
It shouldn't need to be said, but it's also important to remember that feeding coyotes is illegal in most places and can put our families and neighbors at risk by luring coyotes into your area.
Overall, it's important to be aware of the risks that coyotes pose during mating season and to take the necessary precautions to protect our pets and communities. By spaying or neutering our pets, being mindful of our daily routines, and keeping a close eye on our furry friends, we can help keep everyone safe during this time of year.
And good luck this weekend!